This morning I received news that Ole Crumlin-Pedersen, the passionate, energetic and visionary founder behind the Roskilde Viking Museum in Denmark passed away. When I visited the museum for the first time in 2009, I was struck, as everyone seemed to be, by the sheer size, the unexpected familiarity and the relatively easy access to to these boat skeletons made possible by the dedication and creativity of the museum supporters and staff. Like dinosaurs if you own a lizard, I felt immediate connection owning a Danish double-ender, to these giant pointy-ended boats and walked around them in awe at the fact that they had been both preserved through ingenious Viking methods thousands of years ago and today. I'm on my way to Denmark again next week and while I missed meeting Ole, I am hoping to meet some of the elders who built, sailed and exported my spidsgatter to the US. It's not the best season to travel to Scandinavia, but MidSummer may be too late. Tribute to Ole Crumlin-Pedersen as announced by the
He was a pioneer, who through his professional engagement and an almost unbelievable capacity for work developed an entirely new area of archaeological fieldwork. He changed our view of the world of the past, and gave us new glasses with which to view history. The Viking Ship Museum at Roskilde stands as the most striking trace of what he leaves behind. Ole’s remarkable career began with the five Viking ships from the Roskilde Fjord, and the construction of a museum around them. This was a pioneering job, which demanded ingenuity, new thinking and co-operation across disciplinary borders. The result was worthy of admiration, and the methodology became the model for work with archaeological ship-finds throughout Europe.